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Bull v. Gossett

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 9, 2015

RANDY S. BULL, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN GREG GOSSETT, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

DAVID R. HERNDON, District Judge.

In 2006, a jury in Madison County, Illinois, convicted Randy S. Bull of Home Invasion. He was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment, to be followed by a 3 year term of mandatory supervised release. He filed an amended petition for habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254 (Doc. 5), raising the following grounds:

1. Trial counsel was ineffective in the following respects:
(a) incorrectly advised petitioner during plea negotiations that he would have to serve 85% of any sentence;
(b) failed to submit jury instruction on lesser included offenses of residential burglary and criminal trespass to a residence;
(c) failed to object to the trial court's failure to admonish petitioner that a term of mandatory supervised release ("MSR") would attach to his sentence;
(d) failed to "give proper defense or investigate;" and
(e) failed to challenge the sufficiency of the indictment or the sufficiency of the evidence.
2. Prosecutorial misconduct in that the state did the following:
(a) threatened a witness, Cassie Jennings, with criminal charges unless she testified in accordance with her prior written statement, after she said that her prior statement was false;
(b) failed to timely disclose "evidence used against petitioner;"
(c) used recorded conversations without a warrant and without providing a voice analysis expert;
(d) hid witnesses and refused to make codefendants available;
(e) offered a plea deal of eight years to be served at 85%, which was "ineffective" because it was harsher than those of his codefendants who had greater involvement in the crime.
3. The trial judge failed to admonish petitioner that he would have to serve a three year term of MSR, and the MSR term was added to his sentence by the IDOC.
4. Appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to:
(a) address "all issues which were harmless errors but may cumulatively add to a greater magnitude of issues;" and
(b) challenge the term of MSR.
5. The IDOC changed the rules regarding granting 180 days of "meritorious good time" to inmates in June, 2012, replacing it with a system of "supplemental sentence credit." The "government" erroneously led petitioner to believe that he was still eligible for meritorious good time.

Relevant Facts

This summary of the facts is derived from the detailed description by the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District, in its order affirming the dismissal of petitioner's postconviction petition. The Rule 23 Order is attached to Doc. 13 at Ex. 4, pp. 6-10.[1] The state court's factual findings are presumed to be correct unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, which petitioner has not done. 28 U.S.C. §2254(e).

The victim, Dustin Brown, was dating petitioner's cousin, Cassie Jennings. Cassie Jennings was also dating Donald Frymire. Petitioner and his brother were good friends with Frymire. Cassie decided to end her relationship with Frymire after he physically abused her.

In the early morning hours of January 11, 2006, Cassie was at Brown's residence in Wood River, Illinois. Petitioner, his brother Mark, and Frymire repeatedly called Brown's landline and cell phone, "antagonizing him and leaving threatening messages." Shortly thereafter, petitioner, his brother, and Frymire unlawfully entered Brown's residence and attacked him. Brown was "severely beaten." On the way out of the apartment, petitioner, his brother and Frymire destroyed some items and there was "glass everywhere." Petitioner claimed that he was ...


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